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University of Nebraska Press

Beating the Graves

Beating the Graves

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The poems in Tsitsi Ella Jaji's Beating the Graves meditate on the meaning of living in diaspora, an experience increasingly common among contemporary Zimbabweans. Vivid evocations of the landscape of Zimbabwe filter critiques of contemporary political conditions and ecological challenges, veiled in the multiple meanings of poetic metaphor. Many poems explore the genre of praise poetry, which in Shona culture is a form of social currency for greeting elders and peers with a recitation of the characteristics of one's clan. Others reflect on how diasporic life shapes family relations.

The praise songs in this volume pay particular homage to the powerful women and gender-queer ancestors of the poet's lineage and thought. Honoring influences ranging from Caribbean literature to classical music and engaging metaphors from rural Zimbabwe to the post-steel economy of Youngstown, Ohio, Jaji articulates her own ars poetica. These words revel in the utter ordinariness of living globally, of writing in the presence of all the languages of the world, at home everywhere, and never at rest.

Tsitsi Ella Jaji is an associate professor of African and African American studies at Duke University. She is the author of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity.



Author: Tsitsi Ella Jaji
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 03/01/2017
Pages: 114
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.39lbs
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.27d
ISBN: 9780803299603

About the Author
Tsitsi Ella Jaji is an associate professor of African and African American studies at Duke University. She is the author of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity.

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